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Life in Paradox: The Story of a Gay Catholic Priest Paperback – April 8, 2008


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Life in Paradox: The Story of a Gay Catholic Priest + Hidden Voices: Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest + Secrecy, Sophistry and Gay Sex In The Catholic Church: The Systematic Destruction of an Oblate Priest
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Circle Books (April 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846941121
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846941122
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #776,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This book defiantly asserts that the problem facing the Catholic Church today is not the presence of homosexual clergy in its ranks, it is the reality of a threatened, repressed and compromised ecclesiastical hierarchy. John Shelby Spong, Author, Jesus for the Non-ReligiousNo book sets out more clearly and urgently thetragedy and the prospects of the current crisis of Catholicism. Bruce Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion. Bard College

About the Author

Paul Edward Murray is a Catholic priest and cultural anthropologist. During the 1990s he became Washington's first openly gay priest and worked extensively there in ministry in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community. In 1998 he relocated to Bard College, where he teaches religion and ministers as Catholic Chaplain. He lives in Annondale-on-Hudson, NY.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Martz on July 2, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First the confession. Twenty-eight years ago, Paul received me into the Roman Catholic Church and, although we've not kept in touch very well since I left Washington in 1984 -- nor, unlike him, was I able to remain in the RCC -- the Paul I knew then comes alive in this incredibly honest book. In the years I knew him, the paradox of being gay and Roman Catholic was not so painful as it is today after the long papacy of John Paul II.

What I find most authentic is the way Paul tries mightily, for so long, to hold together those two central aspects of his being. Carl Jung observed that it is in holding the tension of the opposites we encounter in life that the soul conceives a third, not previously imagined possibility. This takes a great deal of courage, but it is the way we grow.

Paul's book portrays wonderfully his process of trying to hold those opposites together in all their awful tension and the book itself is evidence of a third thing now emerging, in which Paul realizes and claims himself fully as both gay and Catholic. His death early in 2009 sadly stills a voice who had much more to teach.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bruce J. Simpson on March 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
First I admit that I knew Fr. Paul and he was considered a friend, so my review of his moving work is colored by this fact. In fact, Paul mentions my name in the book. We spent time together assigned to St. Matthews Cathedral in Washington. I was witness to some of what Paul writes about in his book. Paul died recently and is now at peace. He rests in the arms of the God who created him gay. So many good priests wasted by Roman ignorance and hypocracy. Jesus would not recognize what is now called "church."

The book tells of Paul's journey from closeted youth, to out, proud, and eventually confident priest and professor. I too experienced some of the same things that Paul did from Roman Cardinals. They attempted to beat down what made the man.....love. Paul loved people, and the gay community greater than many realize. While he was here, he was a beacon of what could be with the Church.

I have no doubt that Paul is in heaven and I pray he looks out after me while I'm still here.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Conley on August 8, 2008
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This is not the kind of book that offers therapeutic or even informative insights, but it serves as a soothing companion to anyone struggling with a love-hate relationship with organized religion. Murray acknwledges well his rage with key players in the institution; I would have liked to heard his experience of standing at the edge of the abyss of mystery, and why he chose to embrace the Mystical Body of Christ in the first place. A good read but left me wanting more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yawn. Another trite revenge tale by someone hard done by. Most of the people who have reviewed the book seem to be people who know the author for either good or ill. I got it because we grew up in the same town nearly at the same time and a local historical society member mentioned adding a copy to a collection of books by authors born Arlington County. It was hard not to lose interest after two chapters. It really is a lot of self-vinidacting navel-gazing and not much else. Did he really think that his self-centered, overly indulgent valedictory could really be that interesting?
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